Another neocon comes out for Giuliani

In a not exactly surprising move, David (“The End of Evil”) Frum has announced that he strongly supports Rudolph (“The End of Decency”) Giuliani for president; Frum has also (joining Norman Podhoretz) signed on as a senior foreign policy advisor to the Giuliani campaign. Here’s the way the Rudy/neocon marriage will work: Rudy as president will continue to wage Bush’s unreal, unwinnable, and therefore unendable “war on Islamofascism” in the Muslim world (that’s the “End of Evil” part), while he also, in his uniquely brutal and conscienceless way, stomps all over the Judeo-Christian moral code in America (that’s “The End of Decency” part). Rudy is, in short, the neocons’ dream president—the man who will complete the neocon project of expanding America into a global empire and turning the actual America into a hollow shell.

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J.H. Cohen writes:

I disagree. The field of candidates on both parties is weak, thin, and without significance—except for Rudy Giuliani. He is the one man who will stand up to his left-wing critics in this country and abroad and give them back whatever they give to him—and in spades. And he will carry this fight against the Islamic fascists to a much more early and total victory than you might imagine. He’ll fight at home and abroad with no holds barred, no absurd “Rules of Engagement,” and no hands tied behind the backs of our military. If he goes into Iran (if Pres. Bush has not already done so), he will do that with great efficiency and effect.

Giuliani’s liberal social positions will not prevent him from appointing and gaining the confirmation of really tough-minded conservative scholars on the appellate courts, and he will give us what we have wanted for 5 decades—the deciding and very strict constructionist vote on the Supreme Court. In short, for the first time since Eisenhower—and that includes Ronald Reagan as well—we will have a tough and ruthless man at the helm, a true leader, who will help to restore the moral basis of our great republic, the essential underpinnings that have been so carelessly eroded that our popular culture has become degenerate and disgusting, making Germany’s Weimar Republic look like kindergarten.

We will have a real leader and he will take us in the right direction. Believe me on this one.

LA replies:

“He is the one man who will stand up to his left-wing critics in this country and abroad and give them back whatever they give to him—and in spades.”

What Mr. Cohen misses—and it’s a point that’s been made here and elsewhere repeatedly—is that the same Giuliani who will brutally roll over his leftist critics will also brutally roll over conservatives. He’s the same Giuliani who brutally rolled over his own wife and children. He’s the same Giuliani who doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself and his third wife. That’s why he’s utterly inappropriate to be president of the United States.

And this business that he will be so effective against our militant Islamic enemies: what has he said to make one believe that? This is a fantasy based on the idea that Rudy was tough on crime, therefore he will be tough on terrorists. In fact he will continue Bush’s policy of CLAIMING to be waging a war against militant Islam, while actually YIELDING to Muslims. Has he ever criticized the Bush democratism which has handed power to Hamas? Has he ever criticized Bush’s Iftar dinners in the White House where only Muslims are invited and where he sucks up to the religion of Islam? Has he ever criticized Bush’s idiotic outreach program to Muslims in the person of the idiot Karen Hughes? He ever has criticized Bush’s continued welcoming of and efforts to EXPAND Muslim immigration into this country? Has he criticized Bush for claiming to be in a war against “Islamofascism” while doing nothing to stop the spread of Wahhabi Islam in America including the dissemination of anti-Jewish, anti-Christian literature at Saudi-funded mosques in this country? The answer to those questions is No. So Mr. Cohen is endorsing a candidate who is just like Bush only worse, because he hates conservatives even more than Bush does.

Finally notice how Mr. Cohen inadvertently lets on that his endorsement of Giuliani is based on faith. He closes his e-mail: “We will have a real leader and he will take us in the right direction. Believe me on this one.” Now why would he think that saying, “Believe me on this one” is a persuasive argument? Does Mr. Cohen feel that his judgments have some special authority in my eyes, based on his past correct predictions? That’s impossible, since he has never written to me before. When people say, “Believe me,” or “Trust me,” they’re asking you to go on blind faith. Therefore when people argue for a position by saying, “Trust me,” that’s a sign that their judgment is not to be trusted.

Edward G. writes:

Who should we support for president?

LA replies:

I haven’t endorsed anyone but Tancredo. But I think Thompson or Romney would be better than, or certainly less bad than, Giuliani.

David B. writes:

The main reason neocons give for supporting Giuliani is that he will “wage the War on Terror abroad against Islamofascism.” They never say anything about keeping them OUT of America. Frum’s coming out for Giuliani indicates that he thinks Giuliani’s nomination is extremely likely.

A reader writes:

Frum is solid on immigration. I don’t think he is a neocon.

LA replies:

Doesn’t his endorsement of Giuliani suggest he’s not solid on immigration?

The man who co-authored a book on the “war on terror” entitled “The End of Evil” is not a neocon?

Spencer warren writes:

Frum has no expertise or training in foreign policy. Another e.g. of just “Being There.”

LA replies:

Well, l he wrote a book on how to wage the “war on terror” called “An end of evil.” So he’s written on that aspect of foreign policy.

J.H. Cohen replies:
I’m not a neo-con. I am a credentialed legal historian with a J.D., Ph.D. from Harvard and a Diploma in International Law from Oxford (Christ Church.) As such, I believe that all our troubles stem directly from World War I, which I consider to have been a civilizational disaster. But worse than that, Woodrow Wilson had no business dragging us into that war as we really had no quarrel with Germany or Austria, and it did not matter to the United States who won that war. But the consequences of Versailles, the granddaddy of misguided American busy-body international meddling, and Wilson’s naivete and manipulation by Clemenceau should be a lesson we should have learned and learned well. But no.

Now World War II was quite another matter, as Germany had legitimate grievances and became a decadent and disgusting culture. We had no choice but to fight as we had been attacked by Japan and Hitler declared war on us. But we did the right thing in delivering upon our enemies everything we had not only to win but to make sure that our enemies fully understood that they had lost—as the Roman republic did with Carthage in the Third Punic War. Rome had no further problems with Carthage and we have had no further problems with either Germany or Japan.

But meddling, minding everybody’s business but our own, trying to force democracy on all these foreign and backward countries who are not prepared for it and cannot function well under it (and ours is deteriorating rapidly as Franklin thought it would), is something that never should have occurred. I was a Taft “Fortress America.” I just believe that we live in very difficult times and we need a very tough leader, not a wimp, not a “nation builder,” not another heir to Woodrow Wilson. Whatever is in American national interests—and specifically and objectively so—we must fight for with everything we have. And we should tell the Europeans and the South Koreans that it is time they started living on their own dime.

Rudy Giuliani—of the crop—is the only one who fully understands these principles. He is not a neo-con and neither am I. They may be aspirational, but, like Norman Podhoretz, they are realists in very important ways. We should listen carefully to what NP has to say, and we would serve ourselves greatly if we elect Rudy Giuliani.

LA replies:

This seems contradictory to me. You reject Wilsonianism and neoconservative democratism, then you endorse the candidate of the hyper-Wilsonians and democratists, the candidate who has not differentiated himself in any meaningful way from the Bush-neocon policy. To me this sounds like the same wishful thinking that has driven Rudy-mania from the start: “Rudy is tough. He handled crime. Therefore he will be rough on our enemies.” Which you’ve now translated as: “He’s really not a democratist at all; he’s the American Scipio Africanus, prepared to lay waste to the Muslim world.”

Mr. Cohen replies:

You may be correct but I don’t think so. We have to elect someone. The entire crop are Lilliputians or socialists. Rudy Giuliani is a very shrewd politician and he does not want to alienate those who remain loyal to Bush—from whom I separated myself over last summer’s immigration policy and his disgusting disregard of the voice of the very people who elected him in the first place. And his failure adequately to prosecute the war in Iraq largely because of a weak military presence and the mistakes of Rumsfeld and Bremmer.

I believe that Giuliani is his own man. He will assess the situation from inside once nominated, and he will not be a neo-con. Nor will he be the kind of phony realist of the type of James Baker and Brett Scowcroft. He will, in my opinion, rebuild the strength of the U.S. military (imagine that a country of 300 million cannot sustain a force of 150,000), he will take steps like ignoring the UN or pulling out altogether, build strong alliances with those who share our views, now including France’s Sarkozy, and who will develop a military of their own that can make substantial contributions besides acrid criticism of U.S. policy, and lead this country the way Ronald Reagan did—including, if necessary, reducing parts of Iran to rubble so they learn who they are really dealing with. There’s a lot of Mussolini in Rudy Giuliani and I like that, even if Mussolini was an opera comique figure who, absent Hitler, would have died an Italian hero, no doubt from overeating and syphilis.

LA replies:

Please tell me what is the objective basis for your belief that Giuliani will do these things.

Also, please answer this question, which reader N. sent me:

Now I ask you, how can a guy who is so henpecked that he can’t stand up to his wife over unprofessional and unnecessary phone calls while he’s in a meeting (and a speech counts as a meeting with donors) ever be expected to stand up to the Iranians, the North Koreans, al Queda, the Chinese, etc.? He’s not in charge of his own household, how can he be in charge of he White House?

I’d like to see some supporters of Giuliani try answering these.

Mr. Cohen replies:
Frankly, I believe it was a setup for Giuliani to show the domesticated side of him—as opposed to the colorful but unsettling lifestyle he has led in the past. That’s my guess.

LA replies:

If you think that, then you haven’t followed the issue at all. It was not a one-time thing. According to his own campaign, as reported by John Fund in the WSJ, it has happened 40 times. He has persisted in this behavior despite his staff begging him to stop. Read “Giuliani’s amazing behavior.”

Furthermore, according to an article in Newsday, one of Rudy’s own associates says that he must pick up the phone when Judi calls or she gives him hell. Read “When Judi calls, Rudy must pick up, or else.”

Finally, every report indicates people in his audiences have been offended and non-plussed when he did this. The idea that this is some “cute” or “endearing” calculated behavior that would charm people is the opposite of the truth. And even if that were his idea, the response of people after the first time he did it would have gotten him to stop. But he hasn’t stopped. So this has nothing to do with an “act.” This is a man under the power of his wife, his wife who wants to keep close tabs on him because she knows what he did to his previous wives, a wife he doesn’t dare displease.

Is that what you want in the White House? Is this a man who is ready to lead a country in the war you think he is ready to lead?

This marriage makes the Clintons’ look like a model of health and stability by comparison.

LA continues:

So we have two aspects of Giuliani’s character here:

1. He’s under the thumb of his wife;

2. He stomps over the expectations of normal conduct and doesn’t give a damn how he behaves.

There has never been a candidate whose character made him more unsuited for the presidency than this.

And against these facts about him, what do his advocates have to offer? The hope, the expectation, the faith based on nothing in the real world, that he will be “strong.”

This Giuliani bubble is like something in a satirical novel about politics. It’s not real.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 12, 2007 12:30 AM | Send

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